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Beautiful place! Pack warm clothes. Can’t wait to return again!

Great trail, worth going through the thick ferns to get to the lake!

One of the best hikes in Utah, or anywhere that I have ever been.

My girlfriend and I hike to Jasper's lake 5/25-5/27. We intended to do the whole loop but there was to much snow. Snow made it a little miserable but also fun. At some point there wasn't a trail just branching paths of foot prints. We got lost two or three times but nothing a little back tracking couldn't solve in a few minutes.

The hike to Jasper's was gorgeous. Will probably hike the whole loop at some point but when it's warmer for sure.

This was a beautiful hike. My wife and I did it in about a day and a half. We hiked it counter-clockwise, starting from Hessie. We left our car at 12:30, and camped at Devils Thumb lake that night, arriving around 6:30. The next morning we were on the trail at 6:30,and back to the car at 2:30.

As some others have said, I felt that the north half was the prettiest, but the whole thing is great. Also, aside from right near Kings Lake, and the first mile of the trail, we didn't see too many people.

I would definitely do it again. And splitting it up the way we did was nice, because we didn't have to do the whole climb up to the continental divide in one day.

backpacking
5 days ago

I loved this trail. It takes you deep in the woods, and it has many great views and sights to see. Highly recommend it. I made a video with some highlights from my trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUQxymOH9iQ

very beautiful and very well trafficked.

Beautiful views: mountain-backed lakes, harsh ridge lines, and wildflowers. Well-marked trail.

We hiked clockwise, three days, two nights -camped at Bettie Lake and Devil’s Thumb Lake, felt alone at both. Jasper Lake looked like a popular camping spot, and there was a site by the stream right before the off-shoot to Bob and Bettie Lakes if you don’t want to leave the loop. We were skinny-dipping at Devil’s Thumb and realized there was a lone fisherman across the lake getting a great show, haha, but otherwise, camping was very peaceful.

I was thankful for layers because it was really hot during the day, but surprisingly cold as soon as the sun dipped. We made Nalgene hot water bottles to supplement our 20* sleeping bags.

We hiked mid-week (Aug 8-10) and saw more hikers and trail-runners than backpackers. Some people struggling, but then also an older couple of women crushing it, and a Dad with two young kids. I’m a beginner with a heavy pack and ended each day smiling.

Brought my 35lb pup - she wore off her front pads chasing marmot in the rocks... which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had kept her on leash. She loved it. Didn’t see many (any?) dogs out towards the peak, but lots at the trailhead. Leash definitely required for the first bit.

Elevation is no joke, but plenty of places to refill water, so keep drinking!!

Side note: we stopped in Ned on the way home and ate at the Thai restaurant - killer $10 lunch deal!

Best destination in the Uintas! However, the hike is tough, even though it's relatively flat. There are so many rocks on the trail that it limits your speed and requires you to look where you place every step. Give yourself at least a day to rest and explore before heading back.

Since my wife read the book “Return to Red Castle” about 35 years ago, this has been on her bucket list. Finally got in shape and did it this year. She’s 59 and I am 61. It was a fabulous hike over three days. Went with two of our kids and their spouses, and had a fabulous time. The trail is long but beautiful and very doable for just about anybody. With all of our extra hiking, we went about 36 miles. We did it from Wednesday to Friday. Saw very few people. On the hike down we came across about 40 to 50 people in small groups going up. The weekend looks to be quite busy. Huge, vast area that can accommodate a lot of campers and hikers. Lots of options and directions to go once you get there. Saw a cow moose on the lower half of the trail, and then three Bull moose hanging around Lower Red Castle and the meadows. Fishing was poor, we think due to a lot of pressure in both of the main lakes. We did see a lot of fish swimming around, that weren’t very interested in what we had to offer (flies). That was alright though, because there is so much incredible beauty to explore around there. Pictures don’t do it justice! Be sure to take bug spray and sunscreen. That’s a given for anywhere in the Uintas. A few blisters in our group, a little bit of altitude sickness for a couple of us for just a couple hours, and my wife tripped on the trail and kissed a boulder with her forehead, got a nice cut above her eye and bruises, and a blackeye, but with a little doctoring everything was back to normal. No way was she giving up after all these years of wanting to go there so badly. Loved every bit of it! Will probably be going back.

Arrived at 5:15 am on Saturday and there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road but still plenty of space. People can't seem to agree on which way to go- I decided to go counterclockwise and I'm very glad I did.

I have been up to Jasper Lake a couple of times but this is the first time I tried the loop. In my opinion the north side of the loop is more scenic. It's best to do it in the morning when the lighting is better and you still have energy. Also I like steep inclines more than steep declines as they're more exciting and less stressful on the knees. Saw a bull moose about halfway up to Jasper Lake. That was pretty terrifying as he was only 25 yards or so off of the trail hidden behind some trees. I snapped a quick picture and got out of there.

The trail is pretty easy. The distance is the hard part. I was feeling pretty haggard on the last 3-4 miles. Got back to the parking lot a little before 3PM. I probably could of finished at 2 if I hadn't of taken so many pictures.

Overall an awesome hike! My favorite one so far

Great trail along creek, then up to views, then to ponds. Last bit of trail overgrown with mostly ferns. Easy to follow. Pond level down since it’s August. Overlooks and creek are fantastic on sunny day. Nice view of vail and holy cross. Creek refreshing stop along the way.

Pretty popular trail considering the amount of traffic I ran into on a weekday morning. Road conditions on the way up are fairly poor and there is a lot of rippling of the gravel. Good hike with some cool views along the way. Glad I went once but I probably wont be back for a while.

Unbelievable! Gorgeous views and perfect camping. The first night of our trip we camped at China Meadows and spotted three bull moose. One of which was of trophy size. The hike was pleasant with a gradual incline. The switchbacks were a little difficult but do not last long. Mosquitos were virtually nonexistent and we spent the day enjoying leisure time at Lower Red Castle Lake. We were lucky enough to witness a brilliant thunder storm our first night there. Truly ear splitting booms echoed across the drainage as lightning struck the mountainside. Be ready for quick changes in weather. This is the High Uintas.

On our way to explore Red Castle Lake, we ran into a cow moose. I would suggest taking a day hike to the south side of Red Castle. The views are spectacular from Red Castle Lake and Upper Red Castle Lake. Life truly is different above the tree line. This hike is a little steep but not too difficult without a pack. Bring a good camera and wait until the sun is setting to get magnificent lighting of the red rock. You will walk away with gorgeous photos. This area is so serene and beautiful. If possible, try to go early in the week. The crowds die down on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I would do this again in a second.

Loved this hike! Great hike for dogs too as there are lots of water spots but as others have mentioned the trail gets HOT on some sections so you’ll definitely want to bring booties for your dog if you’re not going to be off the trail by noon. It does get a little steep if you go up to the glacial lake past the high meadow - which I definitely recommend doing!

backpacking
13 days ago

Many of the views are very beautiful. However, with all of the pine beetle kill, there are hundreds of downed trees that cover portions of the trail, particularly between the trails near the Cataract lakes in the north down to Boulder Lake. There is evidence that the Forest Service has tried to clear the trails by chainsawing out the dead pines that have fallen onto the trail(s), but they can't keep up with the blowdown.

There is plenty of water, and you never walk more than 2 or 3 miles between decent water sources.

Such a beautiful hike! Make sure you go in late July, which is peak for the wildflowers.

Beautiful trail. Wildflowers are on their way down, but still abundant and amazing. If you choose to go toward Cirque Lake (the glacial lake just beneath Three Finger Jack), definitely bring adequate hiking shoes and poles if you have them. They will be an invaluable help. The path is loose gravel for the last 1/4 mile up to the glacial lake and on past (if you go up to the top of the crest). If you just do the loop, it’s a good climb on the first leg (to the meadow), but an easy downhill from there. Spectacular views of Three Finger Jack, Mt. Jefferson, and a few others (even 2 of the three sisters briefly). Heavily trafficked for a weekend but well worth it!
Also, no mosquitoes, but plenty of flies.

hiking
15 days ago

Such a Gorgeous hike!! No words... just go!!

backpacking
15 days ago

This trail is much tougher than some of these reviews would have you believe. Check the elevation charts and you'll see what I mean. It's also the only time I've backpacked in the High Uintas and had to deal with multiple large groups of campers. That said, there is a reason it's so popular and busy. The mountains, lakes, and meadows are absolutely stunning. I prefer solitude, so I'm not sure if I'd go again, but it's a beauty for sure.

Beautiful hike! Steep and a little rocky toward the top and the switchbacks going down from Baldy to Katherine are very narrow. For someone afraid of heights (me) it seems scary at first but is manageable and the views out are incredible. We backpacked out to Katerine, camped over night, and hiked out on Sunday. The lake was busy but everyone was spread out enough that you didn't notice. We did the hike in in about 4 hours and out in 3 with little or no stopping. Definitely recommend!

Did this on gaited horses yesterday. Great loop awesome views of different types and all kinds of terrain. Tracked on 2 gps and it was more like 29 miles, not sure where 21 came from.

Really fun trail with an amazing view of mountains and goats! Some things to keep in mind though:
- the sandy trail gets really hot really fast so if you have a pup you should probably be done by noon to avoid burnt paws (It’s about 3.5 hour hike with breaks and the meadow trip)
- the bugs come with the afternoon heat (bring spray)
- road is a little rough coming in; definitely manageable in most cars but just be ready for it!

Overall is a great hike for when you are in the area!

We took our dog and slept at Lake Katherine. Started out on the Windsor Trail and then took 254 past Spirit Lake and up to Lake Katherine. The trail from SL to LK was a little tricky to find (quick left after the stream and straight up). This section was much less maintained than the rest of the trail but we were still able to navigate it. LK is very pretty and the trail down (251) was an easy downhill. We recommend!

backpacking
20 days ago

Definitely worth pushing that last mile or so past Ostler Lake to Amethyst. The water is strikingly blue! Temps are prime this time of year, plenty of great places to set up camp!

backpacking
21 days ago

Great backpacking trail/lake. Heavy use, so please make sure you pack in/pack out. The ranger at the trailhead told us open fires due to the “Extreme” fire danger rating. Unfortunately the people around us didn’t get the memo. The pit next to us re-sparked with the wind- luckily my friend and I were there to put it out.

Closer to 7 miles each way. The water spots along the way were my favorite. The steep part is steep going up, an slippery going down. Saw 2 moose (at separate times). Weather was mild and didn’t go below 44°.

The drive up in my opinion will need an SUV and I might need to get new suspension after that road. But it was a great hike! If you are wanting to see Cirque Lake, I suggest you leave your packs down in the meadow. That part of the trail is difficult. But as my daughter said..”we did it”. Definitely would recommend!

backpacking
21 days ago

My son and I loved Grandaddy Lake! This was my son’s first overnight backpacking trip and it did not disappoint. The hike up was challenging for him, but he’s only 9, so there was a little complaining; however he did great on the way back. We fished a little and didn’t get any bites. Our only regret was not staying one more day to explore the area.

Amazing! Make sure your dog has booties if it’s hot. Just went two days ago and there are no mosquitoes.

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